UPDATE: Wal-Mart to open next to old Builders Square

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said this morning that it will build a 176,000-square-foot Supercenter immediately south of the abandoned Builders Square store at 46th Street and Lafayette Road. The new store will employ 300 when it opens in early 2008.

The store is smaller than the 203,000 square feet anticipated by the city when it announced in December 2005 Wal-Mart would open a Supercenter in the Lafayette Square area. At that time, it said the store would employ about 450.

Wal-Mart said it will include the Jobs and Opportunity Zone initiative it launched last year to help local small businesses. The program, often used in areas struggling with high crime or unemployment, includes some of the local businesses in its newspaper advertising, among other aids.

The area is in a Community Revitalization and Enhancement District, a program that provides state tax credits to lure development. The Lafayette Square Mall area has declined in recent years as developers built shopping centers in more prosperous areas to the west and north.

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